Robert was born in New York City and grew up in Astoria, NY, and Little Silver, NJ. As an undergraduate engineering major at the Stevens Institute of Technology, he found that he was doing more problem solving under the direction of mass spectrometry specialist Dr. Athula Attygalle than in any engineering class. As a result, he changed his major to chemistry upon beginning his sophomore year. He performed mass spectrometric studies of oxalate and carbonate salts for his undergraduate research before earning a B. S. in chemistry in May 2015. He is enjoying gaining experience in the more tactile, sensory world of organic synthesis as he works to extend the methodology developed for glucosepane to access other natural products. When outside of the lab, Robert enjoys cooking, active things, the occasional trip to the shooting range and discussing all manner of history and politics, especially that to do with the railroads, cities and infrastructure.